In the previous episode, we had continued with the introductory note on the “Sabhaa Parva” wherein, we had witnessed a jist of a few events that we would find a detailed explanation here. In that way, we had witnessed Sage Naarada’s accord on various dazzling “Sabhas” (Courtrooms) at Indra Lokha, Varuna Lokha, Satya Lokha, etc. Subsequently there is a detailed description of how Jaraasandha was killed. As Yudishtra wanted to perform a grand “Raaja-Suya Yaaga”, Jaraasandha was a stumbling block for it. Bhagawan Krishna decided to use this opportunity to kill Jaraasandha, who has been escaping Bhagawan Krishna’s ploy for so many years until then. Thus, with the help of Arjuna and Bheemasena, Jaraasandha was neutralized.
Next in the list is the “Sishupala-Vadha Parva”. Now why did this come here? As Yudishtra commenced the “Raaja-Suya Yaaga”, there was a question as to who should accept the “Arga-Puja”, which is an integral part of the ritual offering. Normally, as a token of customary respect, the first “Argya” (A spoon of holy water) should be offered to someone who had the highest level of Bhakti or “Sharanaagati” towards Bhagawan, isn’t it? We have this practice even today. Thus, “Argyam” is the terminology given to the spoon of holy water that is given in the hands of the person who has the highest level of Bhakti. The spoon of water with which that person’s feet is washed with, is called “Paadyam”. Finally, the spoon of water that is given in that person’s hands to drink is called “Aachamaneeyam”. Thus, as part of a spiritual offering, the person who is performing it should give all these three to someone who is an epitome of Bhakti before commencing the rituals. This is what we refer to as the “Agra-Puja”. Readers should be familiar with all these basic terminologies as we move on.
As Yudishtra is the “Karta” here, he is now thinking as to whom should he offer the “Argyam”, “Paadhyam” and “Aachamaneeyam”. As usual, Yudishtra had this doubt in him, and he asks Bhishmaachaarya, Guru Dhronaachaarya, etc. who were sitting by his side. We should remember that this “Raaja-Suya Yaga” was an extremely grand event and for this, the entire Hastinaupra kingdom was invited. Duryodhana and Co. were also sitting as part of the Yaga that was taking place. Thus, as Yudishtra expresses his doubt, Bhishmaachaarya immediately stands up and replies, “Oh Yudishtra! Why do you even have an iota of doubt? The “Agra-Puja” should be performed to none other than Bhagawan Krishna who had graced His presence for this auspicious event. I don’t think anybody else has that qualification other than Bhagawan Krishna here. Hence, you may proceed forward by performing the “Agra-Puja” rituals to Bhagawan Krishna!”
As Bhishmaachaarya declares thus, everybody in the courtroom accepted it, including Duryodhana. All of them were happy that Bhagawan Krishna had graced the occasion and with this, Sahadeva took the container where the holy water was stored and walked towards Bhagawan Krishna. He was ready to wash Bhagawan’s divine lotus feet with that holy water from the container. It is at this time, Sishupala burst out with anger! He was the only person in the entire courtroom who was against Bhagawan Krishna being respected so highly. He immediately stood up and replied to the entire courtroom with anger thus, “Oh wow! A person who “stole” my wife from me is getting a royal treatment and enormous respect! Long live Hastinapura and Indraprastha kingdoms! A person who doesn’t deserve even an iota of respect is being given a high-level treatment and that too, as part of a spiritual offering! This fellow abducted Rukmini Devi without my knowledge, took her somewhere and married her. He is a thief right from childhood days. He never knows the meaning of the word truth. He’s a mere bunch of lies and nothing more! He has married over sixteen thousand women and still is roaming around without even an iota of shame! You’re all providing so much respect to such a foolish person amidst this important occasion, and this is a shameful act!”
Fuming with extreme anger thus, Sishupala went on to make hundred such accusations against Bhagawan Krishna amidst the public courtroom. As Sishupala was going on and on thus, Bhagawan Krishna remained silent and was smiling at Sishupala for whatever he was saying against him. After the hundredth accusation was made, Bhagawan Krishna decides that it was time for Him to finish Sishupala then and there. As Bhagawan Krishna was about to rise up, Bhishmaachaarya quickly intervened in the middle and explained the significance of Bhagawan Krishna to Sishupala and to the entire courtroom. This is where Sage Vyaasa has kept the detailed accord of Bhagawan Krishna in the entire Mahabharata text.
However, even as Bhishmaachaarya explains Bhagawan Krishna in detail, Sishupala wasn’t ready to listen to all of this. He went on with his accusations and at one point in time, Bhagawan Krishna decided that He has had enough. He immediately took out His “Chakra-Aayudha”, aimed it at Sishupala’s head and with this, Sishupala fell on the ground dead! Thus, Bhagawan Krishna neutralized Sishupala amidst the public courtroom itself and this “Charitra” finds a detailed description in the “Sabhaa Parva”. So for today, let us understand until this point and let us wait till the next episode to continue this introductory description further! Stay tuned! 🙂